← Techstars Blog

Coined by a botanist in the first half of the 20th century, “ecosystem” referred to a localized community of living organisms interacting with each other and their environment. Noticing relevant parallels between the worlds of biology and commerce, J. F. Moore (1993) ported the concept to the increasingly interconnected and rapidly changing context of business. Moore noted the trend of successful business evolution involving attracting resources, creating cooperative networks, and co-evolving capabilities around innovation.

Initially embraced by the technology sector, the concept has now moved beyond buzzword status and represents a metaphor that impacts the mental models of leaders as they make decisions in a wide variety of business domains.  For example, companies such as Apple, Facebook, Alibaba (China), Softbank (Japan), Nokia (Finland), and SABMiller (South Africa) all make explicit their intent of developing and strengthening aspects of their ecosystems (E. Kelly 2015).  According to Kelly (2015), “ecosystems are dynamic and co-evolving communities of diverse actors who create and capture new value through increasingly sophisticated models of both collaboration and competition.”

Startup Weekend Evansville (SWE) in parallel with our host university, University of Southern Indiana, is providing a unique platform for all persons to engage in the healthy development of our startup ecosystem.  SWE provides a neutral “playground” for all persons to intersect and cross-pollinate ideas, relationships, and resources for a more cohesive ecosystem.  A recent white paper further highlights key “ingredients” for a thriving startup ecosystem.

You can make a valid contribution to our community by just showing up, having fun, and participating to demonstrate your support of this entrepreneurial effort.  In just 54 hours, you can bring about significant change.

Bryan Bourdeau